Not democracy, but good governance at play

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Almost one third of Turkey’s top military officers charged in coup plot

It was not a success of democracy but of good governance. The coup against Erdogan failed due to these facts:

Between 2002-2012, Turkish economy saw growth of 64% in real GDP and 43% increase in GDP per Capita Income.

Erdogan’s government inherited a debt of $23.5 billion to the IMF, which was reduced to $0.9 billion in 2012. He decided not to sign a new deal. Turkey’s debt to the IMF was thus declared to be completely paid-off and he announced that IMF could borrow the funds from Turkey.

In 2010, the Turkish government five year’s credit default swept from Turkey. Sovereign debts were trading at a record low of 1.17% below those of nine EU member countries and Russia.

In 2002, the Turkish Central Bank had $26.5 billion reserves. This amount reached $92.2 billion in 2011.

During Erdogan’s leadership inflation fell from 32% to 9.0% in 2004.

The number of air ports during his regime has increased from 26 to 50.

Between 2002 to 2011, 13500 km express ways were built.

For the first time in the history of Turkey, high speed trains were introduced starting from 2009. 1076 km tracks were built and 5449 were renewed.

The Erdogan government made much greater investment into health care system and introduced “Green Card” program, by which healthcare for poor became free.

Education spending was immensely increased from 7.5 billion lira to 34 billion lira in 2011.

Value of Turkish Currency has tremendously increased: in 1996 1$=222 Lira and in 2016 1$=2.94 Lira.

Here’s one of the many astonishing statistics generated by the ongoing purge of the Turkish state after last week’s failed coup. At least 99 Turkish generals and admirals have been charged with involvement in the plot. That, according to the BBC, is almost a third of the country’s pool of 356 top military officers.

It illustrates the scale of the crackdown led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which has seen tens of thousands of military personnel, police officers, judges, prosecutors and other civil servants arrested, detained or suspended from their posts. On Wednesday 20th July, Erdogan declared a state of emergency, the first since Turkey’s 1980 military coup.

It also portends a crisis for the country’s security forces. Turkey, which boasts the second-biggest military in NATO, can ill afford to have an army in disarray. The coup apparently originated from outside the chain of command, but the number of military officers implicated in the plot suggests a body blow for the cohesion and, perhaps, morale of Turkey’s forces.

Some of the alleged conspirators include Gen. Akin Ozturk, the air force commander, and Gen. Adem Huduti, head of Turkey’s Second Army, which is deployed along its borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. Their commands are key to Turkey’s efforts in the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Fears swirl over the continued U.S. military presence and use of the pivotal Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, whose underground vaults happen to host about 50 hydrogen bombs, a significant chunk of NATO’s nuclear arsenal. There are also concerns that Turkey’s political tumult may disrupt its military role in the region.

“The damage from this failed coup will continue to put pressure on Turkish institutions, including the military,” writes Turkey scholar Aaron Stein. Turkey’s Erdogan always feared a coup. He was proven right.

A column in a major Turkish daily claims the United States planned last week’s failed coup and tried to kill Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ibrahim Karagul, editor in chief of Yeni Safak, a right-wing newspaper, pinned the putsch on Washington, which has given sanctuary to the controversial figure (whose movement Turkish authorities have claimed was behind the attempted violent takeover of the state). The ongoing purge of thousands of members of the country’s military, judiciary and civil bureaucracy is ostensibly aimed at rooting out those linked to Fethullah Gulen, the aging Turkish cleric who lives in a compound in Pennsylvania.

“The U.S. administration planned a coup in Turkey through the Gülen terror organisation and tried to cause a civil war, make our people kill each other,” wrote Karagul. “The U.S. is the one who planned and applied this coup attempt. Those generals, those traitors got all the instructions from Gülen and he conveyed the orders of those who planned the intervention.”

He continued: “The U.S. administration which protects a terrorist organisation should be declared as a country that supports terrorism. This country, which is still carrying out operations on Turkey through Gülen, directed its final attack especially on our country and rained bullets on our civilian people through Gülen’s terrorists.”

Earlier the Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that a mild-mannered Muslim cleric living in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania was pulling the strings of a coup attempt last week that almost succeeded in taking over the state, and killing Mr. Erdogan himself.

Now, Mr. Erdogan says that many thousands of Turkish citizens, soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats, teachers, judges, lawyers and many more professions are all part of the cleric’s movement and must be punished. Tens of thousands of people have already been arrested or suspended from their jobs in the four days since the coup failed, after a night of violence that plunged the country into chaos. Mr. Erdogan and the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, have been adversaries in recent years, and Turkey has said before that Mr. Gulen must be extradited by the United States. Now, though, Mr. Erdogan appears determined to get him back, a matter that threatens to aggravate relations between the two NATO allies.

James F. Jeffrey, a former American ambassador to Turkey now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called the organization a “cultlike” movement, and said no one really had solid information about its size and aims. But many experts on Turkey, Mr. Jeffrey included, say the followers of Mr. Gulen have sought to gain power within Turkey by infiltrating state institutions, most successfully the judiciary and the police. “They are a state within a state and have infiltrated many places” he said.

In the past, Mr. Gulen has been embraced by American officials as a moderate Islamic leader, someone who promotes interfaith dialogue, leads a worldwide network of charities and secular schools, favors good relations with Israel and opposes harder-line Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In Turkey, his supporters have long filled the ranks of the police, judiciary and, to a lesser extent, the military, something Mr. Gulen has encouraged in speeches. Having fled the country in 1999 as Turkey’s old secular elite charged him with trying to overthrow the state, he landed in the United States, where a former C.I.A. official helped him get a green card.

Turkish officials on Tuesday 19th July 2016, including Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, raised the pressure on the United States to hand over Mr. Gulen, promising to send dossiers of evidence of his role in the plot.

The White House said on Tuesday that it received an electronic file from Turkey on the matter, though it was unclear that it was a formal extradition request. “The Department of Justice and the Department of State will review those materials consistent with the requirements of the extradition treaty between the United States and Turkey that’s been on the books for more than 30 years now,” Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said.

Same day Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Obama spoke by telephone, with Mr. Obama offering help to investigate the coup, but giving no indication in a statement by the White House of a willingness to promptly send Mr. Gulen back.

Nearly 35,000 members of the military, police and judiciary have either been arrested or dismissed. On Tuesday, the government suspended more than 15,000 members of the Education Ministry, forced more than 1,500 university deans to resign and revoked the licenses of 21,000 private schoolteachers. All of them, officials said, are suspected of having some link to Mr. Gulen.

The Turkish military, in a statement, blamed the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” for the coup plot, and said the plotters had held at gunpoint the military’s chief of staff, demanding that he sign a document supporting the coup, which he refused to do.

Mr. Gulen, a mystic preacher of the Sufi branch of Islam who lives in a secluded compound in the Poconos, in Pennsylvania, has become a central point of tension between the United States and Turkey.

Referring to the United States, Mr. Yildirim said, “we would be disappointed if our friends told us to present proof even though members of the assassin organization are trying to destroy an elected government under the directions of that person.” He added, “At this stage there could even be a questioning of our friendship.”

On the other side, Mr. Kerry has said Turkey, as part of the extradition process, must provide evidence that withstands scrutiny in an American court, something analysts say Turkey does not have. He said that Turkish officials may be certain about Mr. Gulen’s actions and motives, but the nature of his movement has long confounded analysts and diplomats in Turkey, partly because the organization is opaque and individuals do not openly declare allegiance to it.

Jenny White, a professor at the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies who has studied the Gulen movement, said it is centered on a worldwide network of secular schools. The goal, she said, is to create a “golden generation of young people who are educated in science, but have Muslim ethics.”

Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Gulen were once Islamist allies, at war with Turkey’s old secular elite. After Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist Justice and Development Party came to power more than a decade ago, they teamed up to tame the military, which overthrew four elected governments last century. A series of sensational trials, which were overseen by Gulen-affiliated judges and prosecutors and were later determined to have relied, in part, on fabricated evidence, sent hundreds of officers to prison and seemed to have secured civilian control over the military. But three years ago, the two men had a bitter falling out as Mr. Gulen opposed the leader’s increasingly autocratic tendencies. Mr. Erdogan accused Mr. Gulen of orchestrating a corruption inquiry of top officials close to Mr. Erdogan, using the same prosecutors who had targeted the military.

Ever since, they have been enemies, and this week the government accelerated its efforts to purge the state of anyone it believes is affiliated with Mr. Gulen, or directly involved in the coup.

Ibrahim Kalin, Mr. Erdogan’s spokesman, said on Tuesday that the United States should turn him over to Turkey. “Why hold him?” he said. “Send him to Turkey to let him go through the judicial process here and if he can prove that he is not guilty, then he can go back.”

Turks have long suspected that Mr. Gulen was an American agent, and inflaming the conspiracy theories is the fact that Graham E. Fuller, a former C.I.A. official who was once stationed in Istanbul, wrote a letter to support Mr. Gulen’s application for a green card.

Investigations by FBI, CIA or Scotland could not trace anything against Mr. Gulan which could lead to any involvement in terrorism except that he heads a trust which owns number of schools, Universities, Banks, Research Organisations and media group working around the world and in many countries. And, no country as such has raised any objection or doubt against Mr. Gulen’s working.

At the very least, the prospect of a contentious extradition process is likely to complicate relations between the allies at a time when the United States is relying on Turkey as a crucial partner in the region.

1 COMMENT

  1. You did it without reading my comments. My comments were based on what the report says plus how the CIA preparares plots against the Muslim countries. What was wrong with it ? Please do not use your discretion blindly.

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